Mr. Beerud Sheth
B. Tech., 1991, Computer Science and Engineering

Mr. Beerud Sheth is the Co-Founder and CEO, Gupshup, the world’s leading conversational messaging platform for commerce, marketing, and support. Mr. Sheth earned his B.Tech. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1991. Mr. Sheth then completed his M.S. (SM programme) in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1994.

After graduating from MIT, Mr. Sheth spent 5 years on Wall Street working at Citibank and Merrill Lynch. He built financial models for securities and later structured and traded mortgage bonds and derivatives. Mr. Sheth is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of two unicorns. One of them is publicly listed and the other one is on its way.

Aware of the global availability of talent, he leveraged the power of emerging internet technologies to connect people and used his experience with marketplaces to co-found Elance in 1998. He evangelized remote work long before it became a global reality. He led the company as its founding CEO, and later as VP, in raising $75m+ across 3 founding rounds and navigating the massive 2001 dot com financial crisis. He also helped drive the product strategy as it expanded from serving SMEs to enterprises. Elance was later rebranded as Upwork and is now a public company (Nasdaq: UPWK) enabling over $4b in gross services volumes, $600m+ in revenue, and supporting the livelihoods of millions of freelancers worldwide.

In 2004, Mr. Sheth co-founded Webaroo. He led the company’s pivot to leverage mobile messaging as a platform to build rich services and rebranded it to Gupshup. Gupshup is the leading conversational engagement platform that enables businesses to interact with their customers through online chat. Consumers can chat with businesses just as easily as chatting with a friend or family member. Businesses can offer marketing, commerce, and support services in a convenient format. He led the company through multiple challenges, including product pivots, the 2008 market crises, and nearly running out of cash, to emerge as a global leader in conversational engagement. He built a resilient team and culture that lies at the foundation of its continued global growth. Gupshup supports over 10b+ messages for 50k+ customers worldwide with over $250m+ in revenue and is currently exploring a public listing. Gupshup is leading the wave of b2b SaaS companies that were born in India but are looking to expand globally.

Mr. Sheth mentors entrepreneurs through talks, podcasts, and personal interactions. He has invested in 30+ startups. His philanthropic contributions focus on supporting organisations that provide education and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Mr. Sheth was a top ranker in the NTSE, IMO, JEE, etc. He is also a silver medallist from IIT Bombay.

Any other interesting fact about yourself that you would like to share:
“I am married to my college sweetheart, Nipa, and have two kids, Ashni (a student at UC Berkeley) and Ansh (a high school student), and two dogs, Pi (because he’s a bit irrational) and Kiwi.”

“I love to hike and often hold meetings that way. I am a half-decent golfer and semi-regular in my workouts. I love to travel to new places. By default, I am reading books or blogs and listening to podcasts to stay abreast of new ideas or to develop new frameworks or skills.”

Special Memories

“My fondest memories of IIT Bombay are connected with relationships I built during my stay on campus that continue to be a part of my entrepreneurial journey to this day. Many of my co-founders, investors, and employees are fellow alums from campus days. The challenging competitive atmosphere which forced each student to be better and strive harder, was instrumental in preparing me for the obstacles of a gruelling entrepreneurial journey. I participated in nearly every extra-curricular activity the Institute had to offer including playing hockey, being part of the Mount Club, Himankan, PAF, organising MoodI, photography, literary clubs, Ham (Radio) Club, and more. The memories of “cack sessions,” wing rivalries, pranks on fellow students, election campaigns, socials, are still as fresh as ever.”